A few weeks ago, some of the fellas from the site and I had the amazing fortune to visit Austin, TX for the great South by Southwest Festival. In addition to watching a lot of epic independent films, we also had the opportunity to learn more about our colleagues in the movie blog business. Great people. We learned a lot. One of the things that we really picked up on is that — although we’ve been around for nearly six years and have enjoyed a steady but gradual rise in traffic — some newer movie blogs, despite only being around for one or two years, have seen a rapid growth in visitors almost overnight. That was a little bit disconcerting for us, as we’ve put a lot of work into this site in our time. At first, we didn’t understand why we haven’t achieved the same exponential growth. But the more we talked to other movie bloggers and explored other sites, the more we began to understand.
It’s about two things: 1) Synergy and 2) Enthusiasm. So in this new iteration of Pajiba, those are the two factors we want to embrace. A new generation of movie blog readers is coming into their own — some refer to them as Millennials — and they lack the suspicion, negativity, and cynicism that’s characterized this site and the older generation for too long. They understand that passion for film is reflected in excitement. We want to change our tone and personality to reflect the optimism today’s youth has for the latest blockbusters.
The other thing the younger generation appreciates is the way that movie blogs are increasingly working with studios instead of against them. It should be a symbiotic relationship. Studios make movies, and it’s our job to get the good word out. People love giveaways. And contests. And free stuff. We want to provide those things to you, and we want to work with the studios to ensure that it happens. Along the way, we hope that our readers will vicariously enjoy the newfound perks that come with this kind of access. We’ll be able to extend our coverage to set visits from the latest major motion pictures, junket interviews with the celebrities who star in them, and exclusive movie posters and trailers — all brought to you on the pages of Pajiba. Plus, since we’ll be dialed in to the system, you’ll receive the latest press releases about all your favorite upcoming movies. We’ll be able to bring you that news first. And we’ll be able to attend advance screenings and get you reviews of the latest movies days or even weeks before their release. You can arrange your weekend plans ahead of time.
I know what some of you are thinking, but it’s that very skepticism that has kept us from capturing a broader audience. Don’t think of this as selling out; think of it as embracing economic reality. Print publications and the like are shuttering left and right because they refuse to work with studios. But why shouldn’t we? Who knows a movie better than the very people who finance them? We want to combine their intelligence with our own to create a friendlier, more hospitable environment for our readership. And we want to give you all the chance to win awesome movie merchandise and get the real scoop from the stars.
I know some of you may feel a little unsettled by this new direction, and our new tagline. Some of the people who write for this site feel similarly; in fact, a few of them won’t be taking this new journey with us, but there have been some additions, too. We feel that, over time, you’ll appreciate the shift. Enthusiasm is infectious, and we think you’re all going to catch the new Pajiba fever.
Stick around. Give the new Pajiba a shot. By the end of today, we hope to sell you all on this new direction. Please tell your friends. This is the place to be! Step aboard, and come along for a ride into the future with us.